The Taiwanese Experience: The Biggest Act of My Life – Creative Nonfiction by Jamie Su

Finalist, High School Category [Act I, Prologue]  I’ve never taken an acting class. Or been in a drama club. Or even auditioned for a play. But I am an actress. And a heck of a good one, at that.  To start, my name isn’t even Vivian. It’s Yu-Wei, but they didn’t know how to pronounce that at my kindergarten graduation. My parents brought me to court and had it legally changed a month later. They were afraid that kids at school would make fun of me.  I never told them that they…

The First Meal (Of Many): Creative Nonfiction by Ruth Lee

Finalist, College Category Numbed by the thirty-hour travel warp of three connecting flights, I gaze out the car window with muffled fascination at the world before me. I grew up here, but it doesn’t feel quite real. Window views transient like movie scenes pass as my father drives down winding alleys: a cozy corner church; a wall of papery fuchsia flowers, sunlight filtering through their veins. I barely register my dad pulling into the driveway of his parents’ house and the engine rumbling…

Charles Yu, Shawna Yang Ryan, Alvina Ling Select 2023 Creative Writing Prize Recipients

We are pleased to announce the 2023 cohort of honorable mentions, finalists, and grand prize winners of the Betty L. Yu & Jin C. Yu Creative Writing Prizes, established in partnership with TaiwaneseAmerican.org in honor of Yu’s parents, who are longstanding Taiwanese American community leaders. In its third year, the prize has expanded to include adult writers of all life stages. Their work will be published on TaiwaneseAmerican.org throughout the year. The Prizes are named in honor…

Now accepting submissions: 2023 Betty L. Yu and Jin C. Yu Creative Writing Prizes celebrate Taiwanese American student and adult writers

TaiwaneseAmerican.org is pleased to announce the 2023 Betty L. Yu and Jin C. Yu Creative Writing Prizes. Created in 2021 in collaboration with Taiwanese American author Charles Yu, the Prizes are intended to encourage and recognize creative literary work by Taiwanese American students, and to foster discussion and community around such work. In 2022, the prize expanded to include a separate middle school category for 6th-8th grade applicants, judged by Alvina Ling. This year, we have added an…

Naomi Zhenmei Gage: Strange Pastures

Once upon a time, a man swallowed a goat.  The man was very large and the goat was small enough to sit on a seed of grass, so tiny that individual organs and miniscule details could not be detected. Viewed by the naked eye, he was only a dash of white.  The man was not what one would describe as a diligent chewer. The goat passed through his mouth relatively unharmed, loaded on a morsel of pork floss with his eyes half-open and his fetlocks tucked under its chin. The motion was horrible…

Tyler Tsai: Furikake Gohan

Fatigue gnaws you as you slide onto the wooden stool of your favorite midnight diner. The air is smokey, pungent with the scent of shoyu and steam exhaling from the rice cooker. When it clears, you see your chef dicing green onions and cracking eggs, which he whisks into a creamy froth. As your eyes salivate and your stomach stares, the chef pours the liquid egg into a sizzling pan, which hisses as he slices golden jewel aspic into tiny cubes to melt over your hot rice.  If you were presented…

Yakuza Baby: Mooncakes

You will know when you see it: there are people–most often children, but adults too–who are lost. Lost in themselves. They do not know their own hearts, but in time to come, they will learn. Hopefully. Most have been this person at some point in their lives, sometimes they will find themselves for a brief, fleeting moment before falling, lost once more. Eileen Tan was one such individual–or not-individual.  The almost-twelve-year-old had dark hair that was in plaits one week, loose…

Josephine Cheng: The Best Day

Nothing wakes the woman this morning. Perhaps a dream, but she doesn’t remember. She  opens her eyes, her back spread flat against the bed and her covers stopping right at the nose. Sun  slants in between window shades. From where she lays, the woman sees dust motes twinkling.  For a while, she lays there, her gaze unfocused, her mind blank. Content.   She thinks, Snow. The door to her room eases open, and a cat slips in. It leaps onto the  bed, curling up against the woman. She pulls…